Edenville Energy PLC (LON:EDL), the AIM quoted company developing a coal project in southwest Tanzania, has today provided an update on current mining operations at its flagship Rukwa Coal Project.
· Coal mining has now commenced in the new northern mining area (the “Northern Area”) following the overburden stripping and exposing of coal, announced on 27 June 2019;
· The main coal measures that have been exposed and are being mined in the Northern Area are collectively approximately 20m thick (in certain areas coal measures up to 40m thick starting approximately 2 meters from surface have been identified). This compares to coal measures of approximately 3.5m thickness in the previously mined areas;
· Analysis of unwashed Northern Area coal is returning energy values averaging 6,200kcal/kg, the highest being over 6,800kcal/kg. These energy values are significantly higher than those seen in previously mined areas, which averaged approximately 5,000kcal/kg; and
· Average daily washed coal production is increasing, with 730 tonnes produced from 1 July to 15 July 2019, including a record daily production of 102 tonnes of washed coal on 15 July 2019 from a single shift.
Following the overburden stripping which exposed the coal seams, the extraction of coal has commenced in the recently developed Northern Area pit. The main coal measures of approximately 20m in thickness have been exposed and this is where operations are currently focused. The coal from the Northern Area pit has been extensively sampled by the Company and has returned gross energy values averaging 6,200kcal/kg, the highest being over 6,800kcal/kg.
The coal measures appear consistent with only moderate amounts of material such as mudstone currently seen within the seam structure. The Directors believe that a portion of this coal has the potential to be screened and sold unwashed, owing to its already high calorific value.
Further coal is also starting to be uncovered to the west of the already exposed coal measures within the Northern Area. This will be progressively uncovered in the future, but for now mining is concentrating on further opening up the coal measures, both north and south, along the strike of the coal in the Northern Area.
The wash plant is continuing to increase production from the low levels in Q2 2019, averaging 60 tonnes of washed product produced from the original mining area per day (excluding any coal mined from the Northern Area), on a single shift.
Once sufficient material from the Northern Area is available, the Directors expect the wash plant to move back to a double shift basis. As well as increased throughput rates, the Directors believe the recent upgrades to the plant will result in less plant downtime and allow a more consistent production profile to be achieved at the Project.
Rufus Short, Chief Executive Officer of Edenville, commented: “It has only been three weeks since mining in the Northern Area commenced and extensive coal measures have already been uncovered. This is encouraging and the coal quality has so far exceeded what we expected from measures so close to the surface. As the Project is developed further, we believe that significant quantities of coal can be extracted from the Northern Area with our current mining fleet. This, coupled with the plant improvements we have made, should enable Edenville to become cashflow positive within the next 9 months, as we target an initial washed coal production of 6,000 tonnes per month, which we consider to be a breakeven level, increasing to 10,000+ tonnes per month thereafter.”